SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
The reports on this page are those of the Integrated Support Teams (ISTs) which have been provided to SECTION27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP). The IST reports were commissioned by the former Minister of Health, Barbara Hogan, in response to the massive budgetary shortfalls that over-whelmed provincial departments of health (PDoHs) in the 2008/2009 financial year, which reached crisis levels when the Free State Department of Health issued a moratorium on the initiation of new patients onto antiretroviral treatment from November 2008 to February 2009.
10 reports were commissioned in total, one for each provincial department of health and one for the National Department of Health – which we have not been able to access as of yet. In addition, a Consolidated Report was produced that pulled together findings from the individual department reports. These reports contain an honest, sobering assessment of the inadequate financial capacity of provincial departments of health that have led to the development of over R7.5 billion in provincial debt as of April 2009. The findings in these reports reveal fundamental failures in political and bureaucratic leadership, inappropriate financial management systems, inadequate monitoring and evaluation systems, and a failure to plan appropriately for human resources, amongst others.
The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) held its third meeting on 21 May 2010. It brought together over 30 people from 10 organisations. The aim was to understand what civil society can do to ensure that the budgeting process –at the national and provincial levels– results in the appropriate allocation and use of financial resources to address health needs.
SECTION27 has developed a fact sheet on health budgeting and HIV for the members of the Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum. This fact sheet explains how the national and provincial governments develop budgets, equitable share and conditional grants.
It is important for civil society to demand that government spend money appropriately, efficiently and in ways that prioritise providing services that will save people’s lives. To do so, we must understand how the budgeting process works and how we can participate in it. It is with this in mind that this fact sheet was developed. We hope it will help people understand the budgeting process.
The AIDS Law Project (ALP) welcomes the Minister of Health’s budget speech of 13th April 2010. We are encouraged by his commitment to strengthen the public health system, the setting of clear targets for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and the urgency in the Minister’s approach to tackling the health crisis in South Africa.